tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 10, 2013 6:00am-7:01am EDT
inspection being completed, we get a report as do the commander in chain above the wing. the commander told me immediately that far occurred that the wing was taking action after the grade that they were concerned about that kind of a score on the report. >> did that alert you to attention you should pay to any other sites? >> yes, ma'am. -- uld the gentlemen wham it would gentle woman yield? >> yes. >> the reporter was asked about something that had been open source and because there had been problems here one would assume there was a problem reported as the commander did at that base that something that would be another black eye on the same unit that perhaps with a potential for a
high-profile result -- when did you find out about this? >> when secretary hagel heard. the actual grade on the report we knew immediately after the inspection concluded. i don't consider that a black eye. it was considered a passing grade for the unit. the email -- >> sir, i'm a former teacher. a d is not a good grade. >> the email that we received, the one that you were quoting for. we became aware of that this past friday evening and then on monday morning we became aware that they had taken the 17 officers and put them into this grounding status, so we found that out on monday of this week. >> may i ask how often are these inspections done? >> this particular inspection is done every two years, but
there are major inspections done on rotatinging inspections. done every year. >> we will have follow-up questions for the record as well but i have to tell you this is an astounding development. i know my time is up, mr. chairman. i i just wanted to ask if the secretary or general could provide for the record on another topic how you are looking at sequest ration and cost savings over the next five years. transferring some of the active duty responsibilities to air guard and reserve forces. how is that influencing your thinking in order to meet budget requirements as you look at air force, futuring of the air force very interested in the years ahead as a way of meeting our mission but also
saving money. thank you very much. thank you for your testimony. hank you mr. chairman. >> mr. secretary, early in your comments you talked about the we're also ing -- hearing conversations about another round of brac. who has ownership of our presence in a place like lodges? >> i'll ask the chief to speak to these issues as well since he was our former commander of u.s. air forces in europe. but it is in this -- to answer your question directly, lodges is under yoo safeys command. >> so this is not inness live
while an air force presence, you are not the owner of the sflens >> the air force is. >> the air force is? >> it is a portuguese base as well. >> i understand that. but talents conversation i'm hearing from a number of our colleagues as well as some of our friends in portugal that we are concerned that might be reducing our foot print there and that it might not be a very good investment for them and they might be looking around for a different tenant and we understand the chinese have been present there without any real knowledge of what they were doing but we understand there's been a substantial chicago white sox -- a substantial chinese presence. ? a chance we would be leaveing a major presence there? i understand we would retain
some presence, but it looks to me like this is a tremendously valuable facility right out there in the ocean that has a commanding presence in europe, africa, and i'm just wondering if we're seriously considering basically moving on except for a small presence. >> well, i'll let the chief amp phi, but we do plan on reducing our foot print at lodges and cutting back on the hours. we're not talking about departing lodges alltogether, but reducing the hours of operation that the location. >> chairman. that -- in response to that as well as looking at the department of defense in response to that interest, u.s. air force and other components in europe along with european command looked at all basing and realignment consolidation and anything we could do to
save money and infrastructure in europe, because we look at that as a precursor where we have capacity, so as part of that, there was an operational assessment done of every installation and of all the air force installations lodge sincere one that has no immediate requirement to support in the middle east and africa. the changes in airplanes and the type we move across the oceans means we do not use that facility anywhere near the rate we did 10 years ago so it's to reduce from a air wing base to an air wing -- and maintain custody of the fuel facility there which is very large and is a strategic asset to the united states but other than that there's no operational requirement that drives occupation ge-scale
of lodges. >> if there did become an operational requirement for something like lodges, how would we -- what would we replace lodges with? don't have enough aircraft carriers. >> i think yoo safeys is doing a tremendous job planning for the future. and in some of these where we have not been utilizing our forces and our presence there as much as we did 10-15-20 years ago, it makes sense to cut back, but we still think we will have access to locations like lodges and other parts of europe if we were to maintain a residual presence there, and we are doing that at lodges. this has been a matter of great focus and a lot of work on the part of the defense department and including state department
leadership over the past few years. obviously it's a matter of concern to the local residents on toe air isya, the island, and inside of the portuguese government. so we've had a number of conversations. i've talked to the ambassador several times and the minister of defense on these issues. it's been an ongoing dialogue. and the portuguese want to be good and effective partners in nato as they are. >> sir, we're pretty convinced that our presence and our influence or our control there would be -- will not be replaced by some other foreign interest in view of our reducing our activity there, our sflens >> sir, i can't sfeek what the portuguese government plans might be for that base going forward. that has not been a matter of -- on my plate.
>> seems like an awfully good asset having had a chance to visit there a number of times. it's an impressive location and impressive capability. but anyway, the next -- ok. the next series of votes are going to come really quick. there will be three votes and five-minute votes, and so we're getting fairly close. . clusky is -- >> ok. >> i'm just advised that the bell has rung for the votes. you have the final time. >> mr. secretary general, relative to the issue of sexual misconduct, i would inch
persistence. i can't imagine how many distractions you have. at a given moment. given the budgetary concerns and responsibilities you have. and i would urge persistence for those recruits, for those sergeants and lieutenants. in another century when i started practicing law, it was against the law to drive a car drunk. but it happened. and it was kind of acceptable. and not much happened to you when you went to court if you had a con virks. but persistence paid off and people understand you could hurt yourself. you could hurt somebody else. and what urged persistence is every day so people know nothing is going to let up until that culture is changed. secondly i wouldal associate myself with his concerns also echoed by her that the issue of
watching knew clear weapons is probably the most critical moment in our military. and so again, would urge you to continue to work on that. my time is going to be very limited and i do have a series of questions, but they really relate to nnsa, the air force and navy are critical partners. and too often in the past -- and we have been blessed on our committee with having dual membership by the three of us. we have had the three of us in the past with mr. hoffman as well, is the cost involved. and one of the specific questions i have, and i have got about a minute here is on the b-61 refurbishment. that started out as a $5 billion program. at this point the cost now of this program evaluation is $10 billion and nnsa is saying $8
billion. it started out as a less robust change. it's different today. and the question for the record is, are you concerned about those costs? the second question i have is the council recently adopted a long-term strategy to essentially take seven ballistic and five air-delivered systems and reduce them to essentially three ballistic and two air-delivered. whether you're in concurrence with that and whether or not again you might have cost concerns and specifically relative to the air force, do you have strategic concern with nnsa's push for a common 77 and 78 war head and the cost issues involved? and finally, because it's all he human condition is if you could point out any improvements or changes you would like to see relative to your interaction with nnsa,
because i'm wanting to make sure, one, we're doing the right thing as far as strategy, weapons and stock pile. but that there is good communication going on between the service and the agency and we're doing it as cost effectively as possible. so i would appreciate your serious consideration and response for the report. thank you very much mr. hairman. >> on the next washington journal, we'll focus on the senate judiciary committee of the markup immigration bill with fawn johnson. the hen lobsang sangay tibetan in exile. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern.
>> during thursday's congressional hearing on the boston marathon bombings, homeland security representative told what they knew about the suspected bombers. you can see the entire hearing online at c-span.org. >> commissioner davis, first i'd like to start with you. -- said, post bottom k post bombing, the action of police and federal, state and local was unparalleled. and i commend that. but i'd like to ask you a few questions about before the bombing. before the bombing, were you aware of the russian intelligence warning regarding tamerlan and the fact that he may travel overseas to meet with extremists?
>> we have three detectives and a sergeant who were assigned to the joint detech i was task force and one was in the squad who investigated that and we have access to all the databases but we were not informed of that particular development. informed of that particular development. >> so is it -- it's fair to say that your police officers assigned to the joint terrorism task force did not know this information? >> that's -- that's correct. >> would you have liked to have known thatinformation? >> in hindsight, certainly. >> before the bombing, were you aware that based on this russian intelligence that the fbi opened an investigation into tamerlan? >> we were not aware of that. >> would you have liked to have known about that? >> yes. >> before the bombing, were you
aware mr. tamerlan traveled to the chechen region? >> no, we were not. >> again, would you liked to have known that? >> yes. >> before the bombing, were you told that he posted radical jihadist video websites online? >> no, mr. chairman, we were not aware of -- of the two brothers. we were not aware of tamerlan's activities. >> and again, would you liked to have known that fact? >> yes, sir. >> we know there was a department of homeland security officer in the joint terrorism task force who was alerted of mr. tamerlan's overseas trips, a trip to russia and the chechen region. were you aware of that information before the bombing? >> i was not. >> were the officers on -- that you assigned to joint terrorism task force aware of this? >> they tell me they received no word on at individual prior to the bombing. >> after the bombing -- after
the bombing, were you played aware of this informati? >> yes. >> and what point in time was that? >> the information started to come in immediately upon our identification of mr. tamerlan -- of the older brother, on the morning of the watertown arrest. so the shoot-out occurred late in the evening on thursday into friday, and friday in the early morning hours we started to get information about the identity of the individuals. >> and commissioner davis, if you had this information before the bombing, would you have done your police ficer force and you, would you have done anything differently in? >> that's very hard to say. we would certainly look at the information, we would certainly talk to the individual from the information i've received, fbi did that and they closed the case out. i can't say that i would have
come to a different conclusion based upon the information known at that particular time. >> but you knew of a russian intelligence warning that this man is an extremist that made travel overseas and the fact that he did travel overseas and came back >> in a moment chuck hagel talks about his trip to the middle east. and then the immigration bill antti bet and gun violence. the center for strategic and budgetary assessments looks at the future of special operations. 9:30 eastern on c-span 2. c-span three at 9:40 a.m. britain's prince harry is at the tomb of the unknown at arlington national cemetery. and the guantanamo bay prison. what options are available to
the administration for transferring detainees and closing the prison. that's at 10:00 a.m. eastern then at 1:30 p.m., the institute for korean-american studies talk about how things are on the european peninsula. >> post 9/11 a whole lot more people cared about national security issues than was the case before. so all of a sudden there was a market for former c.i.a. folks and former defense intelligence agencies and national security agencies. all those guys who were used to operating in the shadows saw a market for their services as commentators and book writers. so there was this somewhat uncomfortable, you know, kind of interaction among the
agencies and former employees. >> and at the time i felt water boarding was something we needed to do. as time has passed and september 11 as moved farther and farther back into history, i think i've changed my mind and i think water boarding is probably something we shouldn't be in the business of doing. >> why do you say that now? >> because we're americans and we're better than that. >> this is a guy who by all accounts meant well who served his country well by most accounts for 15 years in some very dangerous situations, who risked his life to take on al qaeda and pakistan and terrorism working out in athens before that, and he is going off to prison for 30 months leaving his young family behind. >> scott chain on his feature story from sfy source to nvict, the story of jailed
c.i.a. officer john, sunday on c-span. >> defense secretary chuck hagel recently traveled to the middle east. he spoke to the washington institute last night about what he learned about u.s. allies and adversaries. this is 40 minutes. >> thank you very much. thank you. > i am thankful for your comments on sequestration. i do have fairly good travel accommodations and i am always grateful for that. i want to thank rob and the board and each of you who are and have been part of this
institution which i am very familiar with. have been over many years during my days in the senate. i often would ask for advice from many of you who are here tonight and always valued that advice. in every way. i want to also acknowledge those here tonight who marty noted in the audience who have served the united states government in the important capacities for their service and what they continue to do. we thank you. also the ambassadors here tonight, those individuals representing their countries. and those individuals who continue to make contributions to helping make a better world. which after all is really the assignment in the objective for all of us. and it is the objective for every institution.
every institution that cares about man. and for all that, i am particularly grateful that you would have a currently employed secretary of defense. i shall pass on your regards to gates and pennetta and tell them that i think leon is probably with the pope at this very moment having some wine and in italy, i don't know. [laughter] fortunately, he has a good sense of humor, and he won't be offended by that. i actually do talk to leon often and bob gates and others who have served in this job and ask for their advises as i do so many people who have devoted their lives over the years to our country, the security of our country. so thank you all, and truly, thank you for the privilege to share some time with you tonight.
for nearly 30 years the washington institute for neary as helped the government better understand and respond to big policy challenges focusing on the middle east. my trip to the region my team and i benefited greatly. we benefited greatly with the consultations with roggers and others at the institute. and as i return as i noted here tonight, it just seems appropriate that i take advantage of this opportunity to share some of my perspectives from that trip. in particular, the astounding challenges that face u.s. strategic interests and our allies together. in the middle east. i have been to every country in the middle east a number of
times over the years except ran. like all trips and visits, you are supposed to be much enhanced andy lightened when you come back. and that is if you keep your radar turned on, and your transmitter shut down low. and you listen. and i did a lot of listening in this trip in particular, because it was my first trip representing the united states of america as secretary of defense. i read a lot about the middle east and its vibrant cultures and complex politics. it came to me not through academics nor travel or national geographic magazine but in june, 1967, you all
recall what happened in june of 1967. the six-day war. and when that six-day war broke out, i was taking army basic training in fort bliss texas. in this region of the world which i knew nothing about burst into my world in a very sudden way. in particular when your drill sergeant at fort bliss suggested half the recruits there in the barracks would be going to either vietnam or a place called the gaza strip and the west bank. i didn't know much about any of those places. didn't know anything about some. but i knew they probably weren't good places to be. [laughter] >> and the knowledge that you probably would be going to war
in some far off land, it does give paying attention a new meaning. i still recall sergeant joyce asking, what do you like, hagel? do you like dry heat or hot and humid? [laughter] >> well, i got the hot and humid. for the next few days we followed the news closely on radio and tv. nobody knew fighter it was beginning of another world conflict. then suddenly as we all recall that war was over but not really. but not really. yet even as our focus returned to vietnam, it was clear that religious ethnic geopolitical unrest in the middle east would be a global security challenge for many years to come. that reality is inescapable today as the region continues to undergo a period of uprising
and turmoil. that has uprooted an old order and it's transformed the lives of millions of people for better or worse. change has come at unprecedented speed not known since the revolutions of the 1950's starting with those demanding their most universal rights and has been made explosive and violence bicek taryn conflict, economic disparity, human rights, technology and struggles over identity and borders. robert kaplan recently wrote that the most appropriate image of the present-day middle east is a medieval map where frontiers are not defined. what he called in his words a world of vague and overshadowing influence.
this tumultuous landscape presents a new set of security challenges to the united states and our allies. serious civil wars are putting stock piles of chemical weapons and advanced weapons and threat of violence to spill across its borders. the assad regime and lebanese hezbollah, the destabilizing actions in the gulf and nuclear ambitions all pose a clear threat to the united states, israel and the nations of the gulf cooperation council in the wider world. meanwhile, as al qaeda has been substantially weakened, affiliated new terrorist groups are seeking new foot holds in the region. president obama has been clear that the national security interest in the middle east include security of israel, supporting our allies, fighting
terrorism, preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, pursuing middle east peace and playing a stabilizing role with our regional partners and supporting yemen, africa, egypt and ultimately in syria. the department of defense helps protect through the military presence in these regions and our defense corporation and our work to enhance the military capabilities of our allies. each of these aspects was the focus of my trip to the region which, included as has been noted, visits to israel, jordan, saudi arabia, egypt and the united arab emirates. israel is america's closest friend and ally in the middle east. with a former washington
institute fellow and you know minister of defense y'all m was a fellow that the institute. and he went into some detail telling me about that. [laughter] i met with president peres and prime minister netanyahu, and in all those meetings i spent a good amount of time with ministry yalum who i had not met before. i knew ehud brock well. but minister yalum and i personally clicked. i liked him very much. i have high regard and value his advice and opinions and we have talked a number of times since and he will be back here i think next month. so that relationship is one that i value and i am much
appreciative of how that first meeting came out. because personal relationships as you all know, do matter. it doesn't change the world necessarily, but it can. but without that lubricant, in human relationships, it's very difficult to ever advance common interests. you all know that. in those meetings i conveyed our continued commitment to enhancing defense corporations with israel which i think you all know has reached unprecedented levels in recent years. one of the core principals of u.s. israel -- is america's commitment to maintain the qualitative edge. its capacity to reach any threat or -- from state or non-state actors as i emphasized during the trip the
sovereign nation like all soverpbing nations it has a right to defend itself. when it works close to feel advanced capabilities it has to defend its people, its interests. one current example among many is the rockets and missile defense efforts including iron dome and -- beyond rocket and mystery defense, d.o.d. has been working for more than a year to increase israel's ability to confront and respond to a range of other threats. these efforts culminated the in an announcement last month that the united states has agreed to release a package of new advanced capabilities including radar missiles and more effective radars and a fleet of fighter jets. refueling aircraft and v 22 osprey. along with israel's status the
ly -- participating in this, the new package will upgrade their military qualitative edge. it's further advanced by the corporation with our other regional partners. my consultations with israeli leaderships, i emphasized that strong relations with particularly egypt and jordan and our partners in the gulf are not only in america's strategic interest, they are also in israel's security interest. among the most important of these relationships is our defense partnership with egypt. our military-to-military relationship played an important stabilizing role with egypt's revolution. i met with some there and i
confirmed america's commitment to our strategic partnership and to express our continued desire to work together. to work together to achieve common security objectives. these include countering ensuring remism and borders and maintaininging the camp david peace straighty with israel and sufficienting the mocratic transition and both leaders underscored their commitment to the camp david peace treaty and to -- the department of defense is working with the egyptians to help them improve their capabilities to help with these challenges and counterterrorism. we are also making clear that progress on political and economic fronts and reforms will help ensure that egypt maintains u.s. support. this is particularly important
given congressional concerns. as president morrisy and the egyptian government work to implement political and other reform, they will find a strong partner in the united states. that has been underscored by president obama and secretary cary. the king of jordan is another very key u.s. partner in the region. jordan is facing his own set of political, economic and security challenges. including its border with syria. in my visit to amman i reassure the jourdainians that the united states continue to stay committed to the city of jordan and in joint contingent planning. hundreds of d.o.d. personnel are working alongside their jourdainian counterfoorts nhance the capabilities as
president obama has said we're also supporting king abdullah's efforts -- as with israel, the civil war with syria was the focus of my discussions in amman. as you all know the conflict in syria is intensifying and becoming more sectarian. the possibilities of state fragmentation are increasing as are the risks of extremism and proliferation. the humanitarian situation is worsening. the situation is complex and combustible. the united states has been leading the international community in organizing and applying sanctions. and is the largest provider of the humanitarian assistance to the syrian people. earlier today in rome, secretary cary announced the that the president has authorized humanitarian aid for the syrian people.
this brings our total humanitarian assistance package to marryly $510 million. we have given non-lethal assistance to the syrian opposition including the armed opposition and that support is growing. the u.s. military has been very involved in delivering these supplies and planning. we are also urging russia and china to do more to help resolve this conflict. because it is also clearly in their interest to end this war. as you know secretary was in russia meeting with russian leaders and other bilateral interests. coming out of those meetings, secretary kerry and the russian representative announced they will seek to convene with an international conference. to determine how to implement a political transition in syria.
using the full range of tools the united states will continue to work toward achieving their goal of ending the violence and helping the syrian people transition to oppose assad authority. this will help restore stability, peace and hope for all syrian people. that goal is shared by our alis in the region not only those bordering syria but also our partners in the gulf. during the course of my discussions in riyadh in abu dhabi, concerns over iran's upport for the assad regime is detablizing activities and the nuclear program worth atop the agenda, the united states will continue to lead the economic sanctions to pressure iran and to abandoneding the pursuit of nuclear weapons and meeting their international obligations. there's a presidential election
next month iran and no one can predict with any certainty if that might affect the future of iranian policies. as you all know president obama has made it clear, very clear that our policy is to prevent iran from obtain agnew clear weapon. and he's known option off the table to ensure that outcome. i stress that point during my discussions in the gulf. a key element of our efforts to counterthe threats is building a cooperative network raidsing the military capabilities of our partners in the gulf who share a commitment with our the al apibilities and extremism, while in saudi arabia and u.a.e. i finalized agreements with access to new significant capabilities. saudi arabia has committed to purchasing all 44 bowing 15 fa
fighter aircraft that were part of a landmark sale in 2010. the united arab emirates is moving forward with with the purchase of 25 f-16 dessert falcons which will further enhance their abilities to participate in coalition operates as libya and afghanistan. they have made important contributions. and will continue. and will continue to make important contributions. along with other common efforts with gulf states in the area such as missile defense, this ensures we are coordinating effectively with iran and other security challenges. our joint exercises including land, air and sea scenarios involve militaries to maintain readiness and improve the ability of our forces to work seamlessly together. one example is the international mind
countermeasure exercise which began in week in the persian -- it's been d by a priority even as a number of u.s. troops in the region has decreased citizens end of the iraq war. each though that has been the case, we have made a determined effort to position high-end air, missile defense and naval ssets to deter aggressions such as f 22 fighters and missile defense ships and sophisticated radars, mind counterasset and enhance surveillance and recon answer aircraft. we have also maintained a significant army presence in can you wait. -- in kuwait. even as we put our presence on a more sustainable long-term footing, our presence will far exceed those in place september
11, 2001. our defense relationships were also much stronger and far more robust and sophisticated. the department of defense is adjusting its global foot print and activities. we're doing this, because we must adoopt defense budgets at home. but the president's defense guidance makes it clear that the middle eavers maintains a top priority and that we will emain prepared to our allys' interest and each nation in the region is different and facing different combinations of threats and challenges. but these are regional challenges. all regional challenges i've described tonight, whether it's the nuclear challenge posed by iran, dangerous instability of
syria or the continuing threat of al qaeda and other terrorist groups, all regional threats. these common challenges must be met through the force of coalition common interests which include israel and other allies in the region. a common lead the woven into the middle east fabric is that the most enduring and effective solutions are politically not militarily. america's role in the middle east is to continue to shape course of events using diplomatic and economic and humanitarian intelligence security tools in coordination with all of our allies. more than 45 years after i first learned about the gaza strip and the west bank as a young army recruit, i foined myself surveying this terrain in a helicopter alongside another old soldier, israeli
minister defense bogey alamb. -- bogeyalam. as we toured the region i thought what's possible? what's possible that the emocratic -- in the area can succeed? and if it's ultimately achieved, that brings new possibilities. new possibilities to an old region. the old order in the middle east is disappearing. and what will replace it remains unknown. there will continue to be instability. there will continue to be instability in the region as this process plays out and we all must adjust accordingly. but the best hope for long-term stability relies on countries like egypt and libya and syria making transitions to
democratic rule. these transitions need to be supported by institutions and legal frame works. these institutions and legal frame works respect human life and liberties and dignity and tolerance and property for all citizens. to assist these nation this is chiefing these goals the united states will remain engaged in helping shape the new order. but we must engage wisely. this will require a clear understanding of our national interests, our limitations and an appreciation for the complexities of this that are unpredictable, contradictory yet hopeful region of the world. thank you. [applause] > thank you.
>> mr. secretary, thank you very much for that deep and comprehensive assessment evaluation from your trip and your observations about middle east security today. i have the privilege of being able to ask you just a couple of questions before i know you have to depart. i know there's at least 300 people that wish they shared my responsibility. >> as long as i don't get one rom cal, it's all right. >> mr. secretary, i first want to ask you a question about syria. because at least one phrase that didn't appear in your text and perhaps appropriately so, and that's the phrase red line. so i would be grateful if you could give us your sense of where we are on assessing the
violation of the president's red line. but more generally, on the idea of red lines themselves. and the appropriateness of using them to define yards beyond which people should not go. and behaviors that we're trying to prevent. >> is that all? >> that's all, sir. >> [laughter] >> well, at first, rob, as you know, i am no longer a united states senator, so i can say anything as irresponsibly as i would like. [laughter] oh, i'll pay a price for that. [laughter] well, let me see if i can work my way through that. you surely don't expect me to publicly question anybody's use f red lines.
but in a very serious response because it's a serious question. the president has been rather clear on this point that we take all this, and i've noted anytime my comments, very seriously. use of chemical weapons. he has said. i have said, secretary kerry has said we continue to collaborate with our intelligence agencies and other intelligence agencies on the uestions of whether? when? who? and other questions that have to be satisfied before any options are exercised that the president has. and i think it's fair to say that we're all probably a little wiser today than maybe
before, and when we take action, there's always the reality, and you accept that there may be consequences, and unintended consequences maycom from that. here are also consequences and unintended consequences that come from inaction. so we continue to dwell very seriously on what happened. and when, and all the other questions that must be asked by a responsible leader. and i think the president has always seen whether it's syria or any other international matter or any matter, a president has responsibility for, and certainly i had some responsibility for the options i give him through the defense department and whatever advice he asks for from me.
and i take that seriously. then we know what we are talking about and that we are dealing with the facts and that may not be a good enough answer or a good answer. but right now that's the most honest answer i can give you. >> thank you. can't ask for anything more than the most honest answer. thank you. >> i just want to ask one question about iran. i think everyone was quite pleased to hear you restate american policy on iran that you and the president have stated on many occasions about the need to prevent iran from obtain agnew clear weapon, and we have been working in many different realms diplomatic, economic sanctions and making sure that there's a credible threat of alternatives that the iranians know about. and i want to match and connect that third point with your
comments towards end of your remarkability se quest ration and limitations. we have had to withdraw a second carrier from the gulf, and i want to ask you to discuss with us sort of the difficulties in the balancing of trying to deal with the limitations and the sequest ration and the cuts at the same time as we need to project credible threats, project our power and our commitment to an adversary like iran. >> let me answer it this way. it's an important question. and it's one that the president deals with. i deal with. secretary kerry deals with every day, because in life, in this job, when you are the most powerful country in the world, there are many audiences out there. there are friendly audiences and then there are not so friendly audiences.
and those who don't wish us well pay attention, just like the people who support us. so what you say and how you say of the ecognition transparency of our system which i don't think anybody would trade about budget limitations are all out there for people to see. that said, i'm going to go back a little bit to the first question on syria as i answer the question on iran and capabilities and so on, i mentioned in my speech that secretary kerry was in russia nd he and minister lab right had announced an agreement to go forward on the basis of our common interests on dealing with syria, the region, use of chemical weapons. and i bring that up as an
example of, and i also mentioned this in a broader way. great powers use all of our tools. it's not just in carrier and battle groups and all the air wings and missiles. those are important and those are elements. important elements of protecting one's interests and working with one's allies and building up regional common interests and our allies to protect our interests as we help them protect our interests. no interest that i think in the world we're in and where we are going is going to be powerful enough to fix every problem themselves. it's too big. the problems, the challenges, they are too complicated, and even if we had twice the budget
had now, you couldn't fix all the problems. so that leads most of us to believe these alliances are absolutely critical. the capability of those alliances is critical. critical to that. the example of what we're doing and what secretary kerry is doing and others on trying to build those coalitions to deal as i noted with iran, syria is now, the humanitarian devastation is occurring has to be factored into this. jordan in particular is vulnerable on this, and we're working with jordan, as i said. but these are all working towards the common interest of
the common goals in a regional way and specifically to your question about budget limitations to protect our security interests and be able to fulfill our commitments. to help protect our allies, i noted in an inventory of what our priorities were in the middle east. i started with the security of israel. second point i made was our allies. ounterterrorism and so on. 2007 capabilities. bottom line. ly tell you it's an honest response. if i didn't think we had those capabilities or we weren't going to have them because of the budget adjustments we were making, i would have no choice but to go to the congress and president and say, now, does
that mean we are having to adjust? absolutely it does. it does mean we have to adjust. and we are adjusting. and we are having to make some tough choices and those tough choices are based on the priorityization first of our national security choices. there's a lot of things we can do without. no one likes to have budget cuts, but our security issues are paramount. our budgets are baseline budgets i presented to the congress. the president's budget was $527 billion baseline for the defense department. on top of that is another account called the overseas contingent operation. which we have not yet come in with that, and my comp troller would be very unhappy if i announced that tonight because we're still work with o.m.b. on that.
but -- we can protect the interests of this country with that budget. and we can still make the adjustments that we have to make. and do the things that the american people expect us to do and our allies expect us to do and we're committed to do. >> ladies and gentlemen, please join me in thanking secretary of defense chuck hagel. [applause] > thank you very much. >> the road to the white house 2015 is in iowa. first up, bob jingdal. our live coverage on c-span continues at 8:00 p.m. eastern
rand paul ky senator speaks in cedar rapids. >> in a few moments, a look at today's hivepbs along with your calls and tweets live on "washington journal." at 10:00 eastern we will be live with the constitution discussion on the future of guantanamo bay. and transferring detainees and closing the prison. forum on 30 p.m., the how national security is affected by what happens on the korean peninsula. and in 45ments we will focus on the immigration legislation with fawn johnson from the "national journal." at 8:30 eastern political and social and economic issues of
tibet with the prime minister of the tibetan government in exile. and then discussing the bureau of justice statistics and firearm violence. host: good morning and welcome to washington journal on this friday, may 10, 2013. the house homeland security committee held a first hearing yesterday on the boston marathon bombings, examining what federal agencies knew in advance and whether or could have been done to prevent attacks. our question for you this morning, what is your opinion of the obama administration's handling of the boston marathon bombings? that includes agencies in the administration. here are the numbers to call --